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Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
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Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
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Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
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Pay Dirt
A daily look at what we buy, how we spend, and the companies that do right - and wrong - by their customers.

Why Sex Sells Better on E-Books

E-books brought erotica out of the bedroom and onto public transportation. But with the wild success of the bondage-themed “Fifty Shades of Grey” novels, experts say readers may now be in for a deluge of dirty words.

Getty Images

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” which might not even have been published prior to the Amazon Kindle, sold 10 million copies since March. Available initially just in e-book form, the books are helping to bring what was a niche genre to general audiences, publishers say. Back in April, the digital version of the book  was reportedly selling six times faster than the print one, although now it is a bestseller in both forms. One-in-three romantic and erotic books sold last year were e-books, according to the Romance Writers of America.  That’s compared to one in five for books overall, according to the American Association of Publishers. “Our racier content has always sold more in our e-book retail channels than other titles,” says Brian Matthews, a spokesman for e-publisher Lulu. E-books seem to be not only driving sales of erotic works, they are helping them go mainstream, he says.

By stripping romance and erotic novels books of their steamy covers, e-readers eliminated much of the embarrassment of toting them around, experts say. With e-books, no one can tell if you’re reading Faulkner of Fabio, says Alina Adams, an e-book consultant.”That’s allowed a lot more people to buy them without worry.” And e-readers made it possible for people to read erotic or pornographic novels while they’re sitting in the doctor’s office, the playground or on the subway, says Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords.com, a distributor of self-published e-books.

But selling them in digital format also allows publishers to cheaply test the appetite for certain books heavy on sex — and sometimes light on literary merit — without having to splurge on marketing and distribution costs for paperbacks, Matthews says. In fact, some publishing houses have even opened departments specializing in erotic e-books. Harper Collins recently launched Michief, an erotic e-book publishing arm, and signed 60 new authors. The company declined to comment. (Harper Collins is part of News Corp., which also owns SmartMoney.com.) Plus, not all bookstores or libraries will stock erotic fiction, Matthews says. Fifty Shades of Grey was pulled from some libraries in Wisconsin and Florida.

Despite such pushback, publishers say they’re rushing to release racy content as e-books, according to publishers of exotic fiction. Kensington Books – which includes titles like Canyon Shadows and Unexpected Pleasures –says its Aphrodisia collection of erotic e-books accounted for nearly 60% of sales in 2011, compared to only 2% in 2008. “Fifty Shades of Grey” has put erotica in mainstream media, mainstream stores and the public eye, says Vida Engstrand, a spokeswoman for Kensington Books. Tina Haveman, founder and CEO of Xtasy Books says there’s been an increase in sales of erotic romance since “Fifty Shades of Grey” was released in the U.S. and a five-fold increase in sales since the Kindle was released over two years ago. “People even read the smaller novellas on their phones,” Haveman says.

E-rotic e-books are just one more instance of sex driving technological innovation, experts say. Patchen Barss, author of The Erotic Engine, says sexuality fueled technological and artistic developments  including cave drawings, VHS tapes, and photo-sharing sites like Flickr and YouTube. People often get a new thrill from viewing the same old erotic material in a new format, he says:  “It’s exciting to transfer a pornographic film from Super 8 to digital.” And e-books continue a long tradition of people concealing erotica on their person. For instance, Victorian gentleman used to carry pornographic Stanhope microphotographs in their pocket watches. “The same is true for carrying e-books today,” he says. “It’s like wearing kinky underwear.”

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    • By WebOsPublisher

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    • what are you writing dear? do not be cnfsuoed. our fathers should now things before they try to sign. but aba gerima did it intentionally not to reject his god’s /aba paulos’s/order. if he reject that he will be sent to diredawa dioces. but he donot like to go there. nowadays he is enjoing in addis with wonbedies.any way the article written by gebrher blog is very nice. for your surprise my comment to them is they do not really wrote all the secrets behind aba gerima!

    • It is a sad commentary on our times that erotica drives people to keep buying more of the same stuff.You will never get the love you are looking for by such reading, and will be left empty.

    • Well Ori, it’s widely known that men just don’t read this type of literature.

    • Rising Tales, Vol. 1 is Marcus Love’s hot collection of multigenre erotic eNovellas at the Marcus Love Experience.

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

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New York Markets Close in:

/conga/frontpage.html 353689

Markets »

28.11MDow Volume:
Avg Vol: 112.32M
Unchanged
223
Decliners
3858
Advancers
2239
Price Chg %Chg 1 Day
Range: 1 Day
  • 1 Day
  • 5 Days
  • 1 Month
  • 3 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 1 Year
  • 2 Years
Dow
/quotes/zigman/627449/realtime 16,500 -143 0.86%
Nasdaq
/quotes/zigman/12633936/realtime 4,790 -38 0.79%
S&P 500
/quotes/zigman/3870025/realtime 1,972 -17 0.87%
GlobalDow
/quotes/zigman/629063/realtime 2,351 -22 0.95%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,131 -3 0.27%
Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 44.54 -0.68 1.50%
FTSE 100
/quotes/zigman/3173262/delayed 6,248 +56 0.90%
DAX
/quotes/zigman/2380246/delayed 10,241 -57 0.55%
CAC 40
/quotes/zigman/3173214/delayed 4,643 -32 0.68%
FTSE MIB
/quotes/zigman/1482176/delayed 21,907 -87 0.39%
IBEX 35
/quotes/zigman/2759620/delayed 10,235 -118 1.14%
Stoxx 600
/quotes/zigman/2380150/delayed 362 -1 0.26%
Asia Dow
/quotes/zigman/6959860/realtime 2,785 -13 0.48%
Nikkei 225
/quotes/zigman/5986735/delayed 18,890 -246 1.28%
Hang Seng
/quotes/zigman/2622475/delayed 21,671 +58 0.27%
Shanghai
/quotes/zigman/1859015/delayed 3,206 -26 0.82%
Sensex
/quotes/zigman/1652085/delayed 26,283 -109 0.41%
Singapore
/quotes/zigman/1709939/delayed 2,921 -35 1.17%
Euro
/quotes/zigman/16008136/realtime/sampled 1.12 +0.00 0.23%
Yen
/quotes/zigman/16008150/realtime/sampled 121.19 -0.51 0.42%
Pound
/quotes/zigman/16008140/realtime/sampled 1.54 0.00 0.13%
Australia$
/quotes/zigman/16008115/realtime/sampled 0.71 -0.01 1.10%
DXY Index
/quotes/zigman/1652083/delayed 96.08 +0.10 0.10%
WSJ $ Idx
/quotes/zigman/41508961/realtime 88.60 +0.09 0.10%
U.S. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866666/realtime 2.16 -0.02 0.85%
German 10y
/quotes/zigman/15866409/realtime 0.73 -0.01 1.33%
Italy 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866497/realtime 1.92 +0.01 0.45%
Spain 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866444/realtime 2.06 0.00 0.19%
U.K. 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866328/realtime 1.85 -0.02 0.96%
Japan 10yr
/quotes/zigman/15866525/realtime 0.38 0.00 0.55%
Crude Oil
/quotes/zigman/2331095/delayed 45 -1 1.50%
Gold
/quotes/zigman/662444/delayed 1,131 -3 0.27%
Corn
/quotes/zigman/7599553/delayed 373 -3 0.67%
DJIA F
/quotes/zigman/38649152/delayed 16,513 -146 0.88%
S&P F
/quotes/zigman/30356461/delayed 1,973 -17 0.85%
Silver
/quotes/zigman/3134148/delayed 14 0 0.37%

Quotes

Symbol Price Change % Change
FB /quotes/zigman/9962609/composite 89.82 -1.19 -1.31%
AAPL /quotes/zigman/68270/composite 112.63 -0.66 -0.58%
GOOG /quotes/zigman/30194416/composite 632.65 2.27 0.36%
BAC /quotes/zigman/190927/composite 16.22 -0.14 -0.89%
C /quotes/zigman/5065548/composite 52.95 -0.33 -0.62%
F /quotes/zigman/264304/composite 13.68 -0.06 -0.44%
T /quotes/zigman/398198/composite 33.03 -0.26 -0.77%
BP /quotes/zigman/247026/composite 32.92 -0.34 -1.02%
GE /quotes/zigman/227468/composite 24.70 -0.46 -1.83%
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Rates »

5 yr CD
1.5%
2 yr CD
0.8%
1 yr CD
0.6%
MMA $10K+
0.3%
MMA $50K+
0.4%

National averages from Bankrate.com

You Don’t Need Another Credit Card, You Need A Better One.
Avg. APR Last Week 6 Months
Low Interest 11.62% 11.62% 11.53%
Business 12.85% 12.85% 12.85%
Student 13.14% 13.14% 13.14%
Balance Transfer 14.12% 14.12% 14.00%
Airline 15.10% 15.10% 15.15%
Reward 15.14% 15.14% 14.99%
Cash Back 15.27% 15.27% 15.26%
Instant Approval 18.00% 18.00% 17.93%
Bad Credit 22.73% 22.73% 22.48%
Source:CreditCards.com

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